When I used to present The World Tonight on Radio 4, people often told me that they liked to fall asleep listening to me. I chose, perhaps naïvely, to take it as a compliment – apparently I have a very soothing voice.
Then, just a few weeks ago, I was stopped in the park near where I live. ‘Are you Robin Lustig?’ the man asked. ‘I want you to know that ever since you left the BBC, I’ve had great difficulty getting to sleep.’
So I have started a new venture – and I very much hope you’ll give it a try.
Given the state of the world – and this definitely seems the appropriate time, especially if like me you’re deeply depressed that the UK will have finally left the EU by the end of the week – I have decided to try to offer you something that just might make you feel a little bit better.
It’s a new series of podcasts (and a YouTube channel) of me reading children’s stories. As simple as that. I’m starting with the Just So Stories, by Rudyard Kipling, because I always loved them as a child, and also because I think they’re a perfect way to switch off from the world as it is, and, just for a few minutes, immerse ourselves in a world as we would like it to be.
You can find the podcasts by simply going to wherever you usually go to find your podcasts and search for ‘Robin Lustig reading stories.’ They are already available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Acast, Pocket Casts and Breaker, and they should be on Apple Podcasts and others within the next few days.
(You can also find them on YouTube if you’d like to watch my lips move as I read.)
Or you could just listen here:
As you can see, I’ve already uploaded the first two stories, and there will be more in the coming weeks. If you think you might enjoy them – and if you think your friends and family might enjoy them as well – please click on the Subscribe and Share buttons, and do leave a comment. I’ll need you to help me get them out into the big wide world, so I’d really appreciate your help.
Perhaps you’re wondering why the letters ASMR appear in the name of both the podcasts and the YouTube channel. The letters stand for ‘autonomous sensory meridian response’ – it’s a phenomenon that some people describe as a feeling of euphoric tingling and relaxation that can result from watching certain videos or hearing certain sounds, including, in some cases, a particular human voice. It’s become quite the thing, apparently, so why not give it a go?
I have no idea if there’s anything in it, but if the stories help you feel better, or help you get to sleep – or if you just enjoy listening to them – I’ll be delighted.
Many years ago, a newspaper columnist wrote that the way I said ‘Good night’ at the end of The World Tonight sent her off to bed with a song in her heart. Perhaps I can now do the same for you. If nothing else, it’s an opportunity to hear me as you have never heard me before.